what is abc?

abc is a simple text based music notation system. It can be read and written without the aid of a computer, or can be run through various pieces of software to produce standard music notation, MIDI files, or to playback.

abc packages for the Macintosh

[there are more, but see here for Five Line Skink ]

Find out more

The abc notation is described at Chris Walshaw's abc page.

Steve Mansfield has an excellent tutorial and FAQ.

John Chambers has a large set of abc resources at http://trillian.mit.edu/~jc/music/abc/, including his abc Tune Finder and a FAQ, as well as a primer at  http://trillian.mit.edu/~jc/music/abc/doc/ABCprimer.html